Here at Bendegeit Mastiffs we follow the principles of NR as closely as possible, while realising that a time may come when traditional care is necessary to preserve life, or end pain. Natural Rearing is a term that was coined by the great pioneer in natural feeding & rearing practices, Juliette de Bairacli Levy who in 1930 started studying to be a veterinarian. She began feeding raw foods, rearing her Afghan Hounds naturally and treating diseases with herbs. Her book, "The Complete Herbal Handbook For The Dog And Cat" has been used by dog owners and breeders for many years.
Natural Rearing can actually be called a "preventative", in that it is the feeding & husbandry method that most closely raises your dog's overall general health and builds and maintains a strong immune system. Natural Rearing proponents view the animal as a "whole" individual being, much more than just the sum of its parts.
This method is actually as old as mother nature herself and basically states that your animals be fed and cared for in a manner that mimics how they would live and eat in the wild. There is no real substitute for living in a pack environment on clean ground with fresh wholesome food, clean drinking water, exercise, plenty of fresh air, sunshine and avoidance of chemicals and drugs to the greatest extent possible.
Bitches are allowed to raise and wean their young on their own schedule (that is without humans removing puppies from their mothers care to "artificially wean" them) as much as possible, and along with this goes the all important disciplinary lessons taught by the dam to her young. It is part of a natural method of learning canine/pack social skills and is extremely important in the formation of stable temperament!
Nutrition is of utmost importance and the canine diet should reflect the dog's carnivorous design. Dogs fed a raw, meaty bone based diet enjoy overall superior health as evidenced by clean white teeth, fresh breath, pink healthy gums, shiny eyes, glossy odor-free coats and small firm stools.
One of the goals of natural rearing is to minimize the need for any veterinary assistance. Prevention of illness and fostering of wellness can be achieved if a total program is followed. Providing your animal with the best chance of "being all that it can be" is a lofty goal, but one we feel worthy of the extra effort it takes to accept the responsibility and think for yourself. (taken from the Natural Rearing Breeders Assoc)
Raw Food Myths
From our children catching salmonella when the dog licks them, to dogs needing carbohydrates and vegetables for a "balanced" diet, the myths about feeding a RAW diet to our pets abound!
Instead of regurgitating the copious information available, I instead offer you a variety of links that will help to dispel some of the mythinformation you may have been subjected to.
The Many Myths of Raw Feeding